MEDIA RELEASE: 16 February 2012Several machinery manufacturers and dealers will release updates to their equipment or release new machines at this year’s Conservation Agriculture Field Day at Parkes Racecourse on February 23. However, farmers will need to be thinking ahead if they are to take advantage of new 15 percent conservation tillage tax offsets.
Conservation Agriculture and No-till Farming Association (CANFA) executive officer, Neville Gould believes the Federal Government’s insistence on pushing through the Clean Energy (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011 amendments to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) in its current form will see it underutilised.
“We have attempted to convey the need for some rudimentary and very important changes to this legislation to make it more workable for all involved. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in getting these changes made.
“One of the major changes we were calling for was to make the entitlement retrospective to 1 November, 2011, rather than for equipment that goes into use from 1 July this year. If climate change is as big an issue as the Federal Government makes out, then this program needs to kick in now, not in 16 months time when farmers put in their tax returns.
“We also wanted it to include modifications, such as a new disc undercarriage on an old combine, which was a common modification under past incentive schemes.”
CANFA has written to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, The Hon Greg Combet AM MP, and the Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, The Hon John Cobb MP, seeking further discussion with them on the matter.
Organised by CANFA in conjunction with Central West Farming Systems, FarmLink Research and Central West Lachlan Landcare, the annual conservation agriculture field day is renowned for being one of the few farming events where machinery is still actively demonstrated.
A number of machines will be shown for the first time at the field day which is becoming well known as a launching pad for new designs. Not surprisingly, many of the new machines are disc planters.
Mr Gould said one of the earliest disc planter manufacturers in Australia, Daybreak Equipment, from Dalby (Queensland) will be launching a new model. “Many leading farmers in the district are now running their Duodec Disc Opener, being the first planter to have mechanical face seals. This new release will be lighter and better suited to the softer soils in longer term no-tilled paddocks,” said Mr Gould.
Grizzly Engineering, from Swan Hill (Victoria), whilst being well known for their offset discs, will be launching their new single disc planter. They produced the 2009 Machine of the Year with their Wheel Track Renovator.
Last year’s field day winner of the Best Modified Machine award, Michael Carey, from Golden Valley Implements, Coolamon (NSW), will have his Golden Valley disc planter on display, which is now commercially available.
Many of the other exhibitors will have technology which will be of great interest to attendees, be it new sprayer controllers with full mapping capability on the Hardi sprayers, or new products from Ylad Living Soils and Gaia Consultancy.
Mr Gould said while manufacturers continue to develop and improve equipment in line with the needs of farmers, the new tax rebate would be an issue of some discussion at the field day as farmers attempt to work out what it means to their business and conservation farming practices.
“Tyne machines fitted with minimum tillage points, disc openers and disc/tyne and disc/blade hybrid machines will be eligible for the refundable tax offset,” he said. “However, farmers won’t be able to claim them unless they hold what’s called Research Participation Certificate, showing they’ve participated in research into soil carbon sequestration. The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has said this will be done by filling out a survey.”
Farmers will be entitled to an refundable tax offset (RTO) of 15 percent of the cost of an eligible asset they held during the income year; they started to use or had installed ready for use during the income year in the course of carrying on a primary production business; and had not previously been used or installed ready for use (that is, the seeder must be new).
The RTO will be available for assets which the taxpayer starts to use or has installed ready for use between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2015 and will be claimable in the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 income years.
The field day is sponsored by the Federal Government Caring For Our Country program, North Parkes Mine, Barrick Gold, Lake Cowal Foundation, Cornish’s, Hutcheon & Pearce, McPherson’s, Lachlan CMA, Central West CMA, Parkes Shire Council, Parkes Jockey Club, Rabobank and The Land newspaper.The 2012 Conservation Agriculture Field Day gates at Parkes Racecourse open at 8.30am and demonstrations start at 9.30am.
Neville Gould, 0427 452 488 or 02 6845 1044 or email